While the colourful sweetmeats are frying in the kitchen, Jagan immerses himself in his copy of the Bhagavad Gita. A widower of firm Gandhian principles, Jagan nonetheless harbours a warm and embarrassed affection for his wastrel son Mali. Yet even Jagan's patience begins to fray when Mali descends on the sleepy city of Malgudi full of modern notions, with a new half-American wife and a grand plan for selling novel-writing machines. From different generations and different cultures, father and son are forced to confront each other, and are taken by surprise . . .